I'm the author of Insider's daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell, and I cover a broad range of assets, commodities, and investment strategies. You can see my work here, and my Twitter here.

I wrote a story comparing FTX to Lehman Brothers, interviewed Shark Tank star and FTX spokesperson Kevin O'Leary, and broke down an easy-to-read timeline of the crypto saga. When I'm not writing, I'm on the phone with Wall Street experts, executives, and crypto founders. AMA!

PROOF: https://i.redd.it/bqeg4fw2igba1.jpg

EDIT: That's my time. Thanks so much for all the questions!

Comments: 75 • Responses: 19  • Date: 

warlocktx19 karma

This story broke in early November. 6 weeks later Ellison and Wang plead guilty. How/why did this happen so quickly? Complex financial cases never move this quickly.

BusinessInsider17 karma

Great point. I was talking to a lawyer about this exact thing recently, and he said he's never seen a financial case move this fast, let alone one this massive and complicated.

I don't know why or how it happened so quickly, but it's unprecedented in many aspects. -PR

jonnohb17 karma

What is going on with the tokenized stocks? Do you think they actually backed these in any way shape or form with legitimate securities?

BusinessInsider9 karma

I'm actually not too sure here. I'll have to do more digging before I can give a coherent response to this. - PR

ChefCheKwon13 karma


BusinessInsider15 karma

I have not - But I will! - PR

ChefCheKwon11 karma

Can you answer about the tokenized stocks please? It's been asked over and over in here. The silence is deafening.

BusinessInsider6 karma

I'm actually not too sure about tokenized stocks. There's not been that much reporting done on it, but it's possible more intel emerges over time. stay tuned. -PR

BusinessInsider10 karma

Hello! Phil Rosen here - I'll be answering questions for the next ~1 hour about the FTX saga, crypto, and markets. I'll sign my initials, "PR," on all my responses -- AMA!

Alterscapes8 karma

Do you think FTX began with good intentions from inexperienced businesspeople, or was it a nefarious endeavour from the start?

BusinessInsider18 karma

Regulators have accused SBF of orchestrating a years-long fraud, so the experts and legal teams seem to say there was bad intent there.

The new leadership at FTX, John Ray III in particular, has leveled claims at SBF and co. that they were wildly inexperienced in management and bookkeeping, which seems to make sense considering how young they were, relative to the ages of other financial firm's CEOs.

To me, it's hard to think that a math genius from MIT with Stanford professor-parents was unaware of so much that happened in his own company. No one has accused SBF of a lack of intellect. The guy is very smart. - PR

typing5 karma

Hi Phil,

What's your take on why Sam was so easily trusted? Did his parents really play such a huge role in people's perspective of Sam?

Additionally, appearing on many youtube videos, giving interviews - he had been called out that his methodology was obtuse and quite obviously a ponzi how even sam described it, without naming it. Quite frankly it appeared incredibly obvious that this kid had no actual concept of how these financial companies should function let alone be managed. Is hindsight that obvious, or did he truly trick so many people?

BusinessInsider11 karma

Think about this: Sam was this wunderkind MIT math wiz, who got a job at the highly competitive trading firm Jane Street after college, and his parents were high profile professors at Stanford. So the intellectual belief was there, no one doubted his capacity to think and solve problems.

Add in that he was a vocal proponent of the Effective Altrusim philosophy, more regulation for the crypto industry, and that he simply came off as a friendly, young guy who liked video games, there wasn't much in his public image that hinted he wasnt someone to be trusted.

So that whole persona he built, it seems, made people overlook red flags, and they didn't do as much homework on FTX/SBF as they should have. Big institutions bought into it, media outlets wrote glowing profiles of him -- so everyday retail traders especially really had no reason to not believe Sam. They likely assumed that if the major corporations believed in him, they surely did their due diligence.


TheDadThatGrills3 karma

What broader downstream effects do you predict within the next six months? It appears that most of these CEX's were in bed with one another, and I'm curious how many will shut down due to FTX related exposure.

BusinessInsider10 karma

One downstream impact is likely to be fewer Wall Street firms/banks getting involved with crypto. Already, we have seen the repercussions of FTX's collapse hit other crypto exchanges, and that gives a cautionary tale for traditional finance. The Federal Reserve recently warned financial institutions about investing in crypto, and though they didn't mention FTX by name, they said "contagion risk" stemming from poor oversight among crypto companies pose a risk to banks.

Increasingly, investors and users are questioning the safety and trust of companies and tokens, even companies that have been around for a relatively long time. FTX was so embedded with so many different crypto companies, it's hard to know where its financial influence stopped.-PR

PeanutSalsa3 karma

Do you think cryptocurrency is here to stay? What challenges do you see it facing as time progresses, and do you see it having to go through any changes?

BusinessInsider11 karma

Cryptocurrency just had a brutal year. And this FTX debacle has only harmed the public perception of it. Proponents of crypto seem to focus on the merits of blockchain technology - transparency, decentralized, safety features etc - but then you have critics who say the whole concept of the actual tokens is built upon the so-called Greater Fool theory (there's always someone else who will be willing to spend more money on a token that you just bought).

It seems like crypto isn't going anywhere in terms of the technology, but i think its ceiling as an asset class has been lowered dramatically over recent months. Many people have lost trust (and money) by believing in it. Rebuilding that public trust I think poses the biggest challenge, more than any technological obstacle. - PR

fasttrackxf2 karma

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being Madoff, how does FTX compare to that?

BusinessInsider6 karma

Hard to pin a number on it. But Bankman-fried faces a potential 115 years in prison if he's convicted on all charges. Compare that to Madoff, who faced 150-year sentence.-PR

mattyblaze4202 karma

Hi Phil. I have been wondering about this and would love to hear your thoughts. FTX got so involved in the public realm (arenas, World Series, world famous spokespeople, etc.). What could their involvement be in the dark alleys of Wall Street? Who could they have partnered with behind the scenes? With their infinite liquidity it stands to reason that they could have leveraged this fact to conduct financial crimes in the US markets at a unbelievably large scale. Is anyone ever going to investigate this? Thanks

BusinessInsider2 karma

Good question. FTX had their investments in an extremely broad and diverse range of companies, and they (meaning SBF) also had deep ties across Washington DC's political landscape, on both sides of the aisle.

SBF has said that he made millions of dollars in donations to the Republican party using "dark money" pathways, and it's possible those funds won't be something that can be tracked down.

As far as FTX influencing US markets via financial crimes, I haven't seen much about that, but at this point nothing would surprise me. There's been new reporting coming out on almost a daily basis for months now. -PR

PopularArgument2 karma

What can be done differently to ensure that something like this never happens again?

BusinessInsider7 karma

There's been a recent push for "proof of reserves" audits among crypto companies, but that's been criticized quite a bit because it mainly provides a snapshot of a firm's finances at 1 specific point in time, and it also doesn't include intel on liabilities, which can make it look misleading.

And, it doesn't show anything about whether customer funds have been commingled with company funds, which I think is a key part of your phrasing, "something like this," with FTX.

Industry experts are still trying to figure out what can be done differently. The ones I've spoke to recently tell me they are doubling down on transparency (i.e. proof of reserves) but I don't really think that's reassuring in terms of public trust.

As far as institutions go, like Wall Street firms, one hopes that they will certainly be doing greater due diligence before getting involved with a crypto exchange. And that goes for media outlets too -- hopefully more homework happens before we see any more glowing profiles of young founders who take high profile meetings while wearing shorts and playing video games.-PR

Anal_carnavaI1 karma

Where can i find a good timeline that explains exactly what happened?

BusinessInsider6 karma

Good q! I actually wrote a timeline on just this! Here's everything that happened from November 2 (the first CoinDesk report on Alameda's balance sheet) until January 3, when SBF pled not guilty. He's set to stand trial in October.

Here's the timeline I wrote

- PR

Togapr331 karma

Between FTX and Celsius collapse, how much long term damage do you think was done to blockchain adoption/crypto?

BusinessInsider3 karma

Simply put - a lot. This goes back to trust. Trust had already been shaken in terms of crypto's value as an asset during 2022's deep bear market. But that trust was rattled further when Three Arrows collapsed, then other smaller firms, and then FTX.

It's one thing to see your portfolio crumble during a down year for assets. But it's an entirely different thing to feel like you've been cheated, or to learn your funds were being used for various things you didn't agree to, as in the case of FTX.

Trust is a critical component to markets, and when something like FTX's collapse happens, it can take time to rebuild. I don't have an exact forecast, but it won't happen overnight. Retail investors especially will need a reason to trust crypto companies again. And if those firms can't be trusted, that also sets back progress for the underlying blockchain technology.-PR

AlexanderTheGreat7071 karma

In your opinion, who is at fault here? Is it only SBF or his team/investors also should receive some blame? Do you think there is a way to stop things like this from happening again?

BusinessInsider3 karma

There is certainly plenty of blame to go around -- we can look internally at FTX and Alameda first. Sam Bankman Fried's 2 top deputies have already admitted to wrongdoing, and I have yet to speak to anyone who believes Sam when he tries to deny the criminal allegations against him.

But then we can turn to of course the many, many high profile investors and companies that invested in FTX, and trusted them. Where was their due diligence? Why didn't they see or acknowledge red flags? (Unless FTX was that good at hiding them).

And we can turn to media too - major outlets touted FTX as a blue chip crypto company, a beacon of trust in the "wild west" of crypto, and then many outlets wrote about Sam Bankman-Fried as if he was some sort of precocious finance prophet.

The blame can be pinned wide and far, but I think the fact that SBF faces up to 115 years in prison if convicted of all charges says enough about where the lion's share of the blame may end up going. - PR

LincHamilton1 karma

As a senior reporter, do you ever take a deep dive into crypto to look at projects and aspects that are not covered by everyone else?

To be fair, the entire SBF saga is covered by everyone by now, so why not do something more original?

Instead of contributing to already established headlines you could be the one making them.

BusinessInsider2 karma

I do try to make my reporting as original as I can, and i do that by talking to experts, execs, and founders in crypto industry. The FTX saga is indeed widely covered now, but it's still important to cover, and worth reading and writing about.

That said, I'm still working constantly to dig into new projects, storylines, and people in and around markets and crypto. -PR

danccbc0 karma

Which do you prefer, pasta pork chicken or lamb?

BusinessInsider0 karma

Chicken - PR

iamlegend1250 karma

Hello Phil!
Big fan of yours! Just had an overall question for you which may have many layers, but, what are your thoughts on the present/future standing of Crypto now that all of this has happened?

BusinessInsider1 karma

Thanks for your question here! This goes back to trust -- many everyday traders and institutional players lost faith in cryptocurrency. Perhaps not as an asset in a vaccuum, but as an industry due to the shaky series of events over recent months. But even before FTX imploded, there was a deep bear market over 2022 for digital assets that saw market caps for the most popular tokens all crash.

It looks to me like rebuilding trust will be key to the future of crypto. You will have plenty of very bullish and optimistic crypto investors still, but I think that group has shrunk since a year ago.

Interestingly though, if we look at the biggest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, while it's down 55% over the last 12 months, it has actually rallied about 12% in the last five days. Its possible that bitcoin and eth, the second largest crypto, could rally alongside traditional equities regardless of trust in the sector, so maybe if a bull market gets underway there could be some upside for certain larger tokens. - PR

KiteVibes-1 karma


BusinessInsider4 karma

I have not read or heard anything about this. But certainly food for thought. - PR